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Mail Tribune 100

Jan. 8, 1916


In an interview in the Portland Oregonian of January 5, Messrs. Nibley and Sanders are quoted as follows:

Rates on sugar beets from the farms of the growers to the mill will determine the location of the beet sugar factory to be established near Grants Pass. We have the matter up with the Southern Pacific and a conference on the subject will be held in San Francisco next week.

We have in mind placing the factory on the new Twohy railroad outside of Grants Pass about three miles. But this is dependent upon the freight rates.

All of which is quite interesting, illustrating the scientific management of the new enterprise. Rates, not beet acreage, govern the location—and long-distance rates, at that.

The beet acreage signed is along the Southern Pacific. Little of it lies along the Twohy railroad. Half of it lies south of Central Point. To secure cheap transportation to the factory from the field, it is of course essential to add switching charges and a haul over another railroad thirty miles away. The longer the haul, the cheaper, of course, both for beets, pulp and sugar. That was what the promoters meant when the stated that the factory would be located nearest the greatest acreage of beets. 

The site selected is admirable in every way. It furnishes a firm foundation on shallow granite soil, that grows a fine crop of chaparral, manzanita and scrub oak, that has doubtless been approved for beet culture by the soil experts. Moreover, it can be watered from Mr. Sanders' "Amen" dam system.

But the promoters are overlooking a bet. The factory should be located at the Twohy-Reddy's new townsite in the Illinois valley, at the proposed terminus of the new railroad, right in the center of the sugar beet fields some seventy miles away. The haul is still further, therefore cheaper.


Henry McComb, of Portland, Maine, has been visiting the Rogue river country for a month. He will return to his native state before the middle of this month with a wealth of information for his friends and neighbors in the farther corner of our country.